PM inaugurates College and Administration Buildings of Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University, Jhansi through video conferencing

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today inaugurated the College and Administration Buildings of Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University, Jhansi, UP through video conferencing. He interacted with the students of the University.

PM congratulated everyone and expressed hope that students after graduating from this university will actively contribute in empowering the country’s agriculture sector. He hoped that new facilities provided due to the new building would encourage and motivate students to work harder.

Invoking Rani Lakshmi Bai’s Quote that “I will not give my Jhansi”, the Prime Minister urged the people of Jhansi and Bundelkhand to make Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan a success.

The Prime Minister noted that Agriculture has a major role to contribute in Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. He said self reliance in Agriculture targets at making Farmers both- producer as well as entrepreneur. PM said in line with this spirit, several historic agricultural reforms were taken. Just like other industries, now Farmers can also sell their produce anywhere in the country, wherever they fetch better prices. He said a special dedicated fund of Rs 1 Lakh crore has been set up for providing better facilities and promoting industries in a cluster based approach.

Saying that steady efforts are continuing to connect farming with modern technology, the Prime Minister noted that Research Institutions and Agricultural Universities have a vital role to play. He said now there are three Central Agricultural Universities in the country, compared to just one Central University 6 years ago. Besides this, three more National Institutions viz. IARI Jharkhand, IARI Assam and Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Integrated Farming in Motihari, Bihar are also being established. He remarked that these institutes will not only give new opportunities to the students, but will also help in increasing their capacity, in providing technology benefits to the local farmers.

Speaking about use of modern technology in meeting agriculture related challenges, the Prime Minister gave an example of recent locust attack. He said the Government worked on war footing to control the spread of the attacks and to reduce the damage. He mentioned that dozens of control rooms were set up in several cities, arrangements were made to alert farmers in advance, drones to spray, dozens of modern spray machines used to kill locusts were procured and provided to farmers.

The PM said that in the last six years, the Government has endeavoured to establish a link between research and farming, and to provide scientific advice to the farmers, at the ground levels in the villages. He sought the cooperation of the universities in developing the ecosystem to streamline the flow of knowledge and expertise from campus to agriculture fields.

Stressing on the need to take knowledge related to agriculture and its practical application to school level, the Prime Minister said efforts are to introduce the Agriculture subject at Middle school level in villages. It will have two benefits- One, it will develop agriculture related understanding in the students and secondly, it will enable the students to give information about agriculture, its modern farming techniques and marketing, to their family members. This will promote Agro-entrepreneurship in the country, he added.

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Earlier in his welcome address, Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar said that along with the the mantra of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas, the efforts to correct the imbalances in the country under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi since 2014 have now started showing results. Work on the Rani Laxmibai Central Agricultural University started in the year 2014 and now it has three affiliated colleges and students from 22 states are studying here. When it becomes fully operational, the whole country will benefit. Shri Tomar said that there is unlimited potential for organic farming in Bundelkhand area for which Central Government and UP Government are working together.

Speaking about the priority being given to expansion of agricultural education, Shri Tomar said that agricultural colleges are being opened all over the country including in the North East. Indian Agricultural Research Institutes have been opened in Jharkhand and Assam and have started functioning. Central Agricultural University, Imphal has been expanded by affiliating 6 new colleges with it. Giving importance to agriculture in bringing about development and security of livelihood in the North East, farming activities there are being strengthened by agricultural education and research. Scholarships for Ph.D. students have been increased to Rs. 31000 per month.

The Union Agriculture Minister said that to achieve the target of doubling farmers’ incomes by 2022, the Central Government is working in close coordination with the states.  Despite the lockdown due to Covid pandemic, there has been a bumper harvest, and kharif sowing has been done in 13 lakh ha more area as compared to last year. Under PM-KISAN scheme, about Rs 92000 crore have been deposited in the bank accounts of more than 10 crore farmers. For bringing about reforms in agriculture, several measures such as formation of 10000 FPOs, issuing Kisan Credit Cards to about 2.5 crore farmers, provision of Rs 1 lakh crore Agri Infrastructure Fund and bringing in new ordinances, have been taken under the leadership of the Hon’ble Prime Minister.

Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Shri Yogi Adityanath expressed gratitude for establishment of Central Agricultural University in the backward Bundelkhand region. He appreciated the efforts being taken under the Hon’ble Prime Minister for doubling farmers’ incomes, connecting farmers to technology, providing them basic infrastructure and good quality seeds.

Union Ministers of State for Agriculture Shri Parshottam Rupala and Shri Kailash Choudhary, Jhansi MP Shri Anurag Sharma, DG ICAR Dr Trilochan Mohapatra and other eminent persons and scientists were present during the function.

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